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Gorillas Welcome Killer Bees Tomorrow Night

AMARILLO, TX - The Amarillo Gorillas of the Central Hockey League (CHL) return home tomorrow night for the first time in nearly two weeks and will look to use the familiar ice at the Cal Farley Coliseum to snap a season-high 4-game losing streak. The Gorillas have struggled at the outset of the final month in the calendar year going 0-4 in December and the Apes have not been found in the win column since a 3-1 victory in Odessa on November 29th. But you couldn't ask for a better set of circumstances for the Gorillas to put a stop to their current losing funk. The Gorillas open up a 3-game home stand this Friday evening when they play host to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. The Apes then remain home for a Saturday evening affair with the Odessa Jackalopes and then welcome the defending President's Cup Champion Laredo Bucks on Tuesday.

The Gorillas have played some of their most inspired and consistent hockey at home this season, garnering a 5-2-2 record at the Cal Farley Coliseum and accumulating 12 of a possible 18 standings points when playing at home. The explanation for the Gorillas success at home is simple. The Apes have outscored their opposition 27-24 in the Jungle while on the road the Gorillas have been outscored 46-29. The Gorillas also boast the CHL's 3rd best home penalty kill at 90.2%, better than 6 percentage points higher than their season penalty kill percentage of 83.9.

The goaltending statistics are even more illuminating for the Gorillas success at home. When skating in the Jungle, the Gorillas goaltenders have combined for a 2.67 goals-against average (GAA) and a .913 save %. Meanwhile when playing on the road, the Amarillo net minders have combined for a rather mediocre 4.18 GAA and an equally average .880 save %.

Friday's Promotion: Best Buy presents Texas Lottery Night where fans 18 and over will have the chance to win free lottery tickets courtesy of the Texas Lottery Commission.

Remember, in honor of the Gorillas 5th year anniversary, all kids tickets for the rest of the season are just $5!!

Season ticket packages and corporate partnerships for the 2006-2007 season are available now! Individual game tickets, as well as great group rates, can be purchased at the Gorillas Hockey Office, located at 1934 Civic Circle off of I-40 and Georgia, the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. These include Randy's Music Mart, the West Texas Event Center in Canyon and United Supermarkets. Tickets can also be charged by phone at (806) 378-3096 or (806) 242-PUCK (7825).
 

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ECHL Today

South Carolina Stingrays (11-10-2) at Columbia Inferno (7-11-4) 7:05 p.m. ET
* Stingrays have won last two games and are 5-1-0 against Inferno in 2005-06, including 2-0-0 at Columbia.
* Jeff Miles leads Columbia against the Stingrays with four goals and seven points in six games.
* Chris Chaput leads South Carolina against the Inferno with five goals and nine points in six games.
* Inferno defenseman Mike Jarmuth has a four-game assist streak (5a) and five-game point streak (1g-5a).

Toledo Storm (12-7-1) at Dayton Bombers (9-6-1) 7:05 p.m. ET
* Storm is 2-0 this season and has won the last five meetings to improve to 83-54-16 all-time against Dayton.
* Bombers' Adam Berkhoel is 3-0-0 with goals-against average of 1.95 in his last three home games.
* Toledo's Logan Koopmans is 2-0-0 with a shootout win and a shutout win against the Bombers.
* Dayton's Joe Cullen has a game-winning goal and five points (2g-3a) in his last five games.

Trenton Titans (11-7-1) at Charlotte Checkers (13-9-1) 7:30 p.m. ET
* Titans have won the last four meetings at Charlotte and are 17-7-3 all-time against the Checkers.
* Alex Westlund is 2-0-0 with 86 saves in his first two starts since coming off injured reserve on Dec. 4.
* Trenton's Mike Pandolfo has three-game assist streak (6a) and 13-game point streak (12g-12a).
* Checkers' Dan Murphy had career highs for goals (2), assists (2) and points (4) in 5-2 win at Pensacola Tuesday.

Johnstown Chiefs (10-10-3) at Cincinnati Cyclones (11-10-1) 7:30 p.m. ET
* Cyclones won 3-2 in shootout Thursday to improve to 2-0-0 this season and 15-9-2 all-time against Chiefs.
* Chiefs' Morgan Cey is 1-0-2 with goals-against average of 2.19 in his last three starts.
* Cyclone rookie Cedrick Desjardins is 2-0 with a shutout and goals-against average of 0.96 in last two starts.
* Johnstown rookie Maxime Boisclair has eight-game assist streak (10a) and 12-game point streak (7g-13a).

Reading Royals (10-10-4) at Wheeling Nailers (10-12-1) 7:30 p.m. ET
* Nailers have won the last three meetings and are 3-1-0 this season and 25-19-4 all-time against Reading.
* Chris Bala leads the Royals against Wheeling with five goals and nine points in four games.
* Jon Foster has scored the game winner in each of Wheeling's last two wins against the Royals.
* Greg Hogeboom has six-game point streak (3g-8a) and leads Reading with 32 points (12g-20a).

Florida Everblades (15-7-0) at Augusta Lynx (12-13-0) 7:35 p.m. ET
* Florida was 3-1-0 on the road and 7-2-0 overall against Lynx in 2005-06, improving to 34-12-4 all-time.
* J.B. Bittner has four assists in his last four games and leads Augusta with 18 assists.
* Florida's Brent McDonald has three-game point streak (4g-2a) and 12 points (7g-5a) in last six games.
* Jamie Johnson has six points (3g-3a) in last six games and is tied for Lynx lead with 26 points (9g-17a).

Pensacola Ice Pilots (5-15-2) at Gwinnett Gladiators (13-7-4) 7:35 p.m. ET
* Gladiators have won last eight meetings and are 7-1-1 at home and 13-2-2 overall against Pensacola.
* Travis Lisabeth has four points (2g-2a) in last two games and 11 points (3g-8a) in 12 games with Ice Pilots.
* Gwinnett's Scott Mifsud has a six-game point streak (3g-8a).
* Ice Pilot defenseman Jason Goulet has three points (0g-3a) in last five games and five points (1g-4a) overall.

Phoenix RoadRunners (13-11-0) at Texas Wildcatters (16-4-2) 7:30 p.m. CT
* Kevin Baker had two goals in Texas' 3-2 win on Thursday and leads the league with 18 goals.
* Phoenix rookie Tommy Maxwell has scored career-high two points in each of his last two games.
* Wildcatters' Matt Yeats is 2-1-0 with goals-against average of 2.40 in his last three starts.
* RoadRunners' Brett Smith has a seven-game goal streak (8g) which ties the ECHL season high.

Alaska Aces (13-8-0) at Utah Grizzlies (6-14-3) 7:05 p.m. MT
* Alaska has won its last three away games and is 7-1-0 in its last eight road games, including 2-0 at Utah.
* Grizzlies' Rob McVicar is 2-1-0 with goals-against average of 2.36 in his last three starts.
* Aces' Derek Gustafson is 2-0-0 with goals-against average of 1.00 in his last two starts.
* Ryan Kinasewich leads Utah with nine goals and 18 points in 18 games.

Stockton Thunder (14-2-4) at Las Vegas Wranglers (13-2-7) 7:05 p.m. PT
* Thunder rookie Devan Dubnyk is 1-1-0 with goals-against average of 2.02 against Las Vegas.
* Wranglers are 2-1-0 at home against Stockton with all three games decided in regulation by one goal.
* Chris Neiszner leads Las Vegas against the Thunder with three goals and three points.
* Brendon Hodge leads Stockton against the Wranglers with three assists and four points.

Bakersfield Condors (12-7-2) at Fresno Falcons (12-9-0) 7:30 p.m. PT
* Falcons are 9-3-2 all-time at home against Condors, including 4-1 in shootouts and 1-1 in overtime.
* Bakersfield's Jamie Hodson is 1-0-1 with goals-against average of 2.40 in two starts against Falcons.
* Fresno leads the ECHL with 12 shorthand goals and is fourth in penalty kill at 86.2 percent (156-for-181).
* Condors' Sean Venedam has four-game goal streak (6g) and seven-game point streak (7g-7a).

Victoria Salmon Kings (9-12-1) at Long Beach Ice Dogs (5-14-2) 7:30 p.m. PT
* Salmon Kings have won last two meetings and are 3-1-0 in their last four games against Long Beach.
* Brad Bonello has scored in each of his first five games (4g-2a) since signing with Long Beach on Nov. 28.
* Victoria rookie Julien Ellis is 2-0-0 with goals-against average of 1.50 against the Ice Dogs.
* Long Beach defenseman Jeff Mason has five points (2g-3a) in his last four games.

Premier 'AA' Hockey League Fast Facts
* Affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League marking 10th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
* 310 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
* 164 have made NHL debut in the last five seasons, including goaltenders Barry Brust, Martin Houle, Joey MacDonald, Mike Smith and Mike Wall, center Drew Larman and right wing Jesse Schultz this season, and a record 47 in 2005-06.
* ECHL has been represented on last six Stanley Cup champions.
* Two NHL head coaches (Peter Laviolette & Jim Playfair) and 9 assistant coaches have ECHL experience.
* Affiliations with 24 of the 27 teams in the American Hockey League.
* ECHL has been represented on last 17 Calder Cup champions.
* For each of the past four seasons, ECHL has had more players called up to AHL than all other professional leagues combined. From 2002-06 the ECHL had 1,646 call ups, involving almost 1,000 players, including 416 call ups involving 263 players last season.
* Idaho Steelheads and City of Boise will host the 15th Annual ECHL All-Star Game presented by Rbk Hockey on Jan. 17 and the 10th Annual ECHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Rbk Hockey on Jan. 16 at Qwest Arena.
* ECHL and its member teams contributed more than $2.3 million for charity and relief funds in 2005-06.
 

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Cotton Kings Road Game Preview

12/15/06 -LUBBOCK COTTON KINGS (10-9-1) @ CORPUS CHRISTI RAYZ (10-10-4)

- 7:05 PM AMERICAN BANK CENTER RADIO- KKAM 1340 AM

THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY FACE THE RAYZ TONIGHT

The Lubbock Cotton Kings make their only trip of the season to the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi tonight seeking to end a season high three-game winless streak, as they battle the Corpus Christi Rayz for the first time this season. The "good" for the Kings is that they co-lead the Southwest Division (with Arizona) with a 10-9-1 record, but the "bad" is the Kings have dropped six of their last eight games and the "ugly" is the Kings enter the game on a 77:39 scoreless sequence (one goal in their last 157:46) after their 6-0 loss in Odessa Saturday. Lubbock was off last night as Corpus Christi suffered a 3-2 loss at home to the Austin Ice Bats. The Rayz sit four standing-points behind Laredo entering tonight, tied for second place in the Southeast Division. The Rayz have not fared much better than the Kings in their last ten games, as they have a 3-4-3 record in that span. Corpus Christi is one of two teams in the CHL with a sub-.500 home record (4-7-0 at home).

THE SERIES

Tonight marks the 18th all-time meeting and the first of three contests on the season against the Rayz. Lubbock went 3-1-0 against the Rayz last season, winning both games played in Corpus Christi in overtime. Kyle Nosan led returning Kings last season with 3 assists. The all-time series is led by Lubbock with a dominate 14-2-1 record against Corpus Christi's 3-11-3 mark in the series. Former Kings forward Jan Melichercik leads the all-time series with 15 points (5g,10a), while the Rayz all-time series leader is former Corpus Christi member Geoff Bumstead, who had 6 assists.

THE LAST TIME

3/12/06 - Mike Brolsma's overtime game winning goal with 52-seconds remaining in overtime clinched a 2-1 comeback victory for the Lubbock Cotton Kings over the Corpus Christi Rayz Sunday night at the AmericanBank Center.

Trailing 1-0 heading into the third period, the Kings rallied back with a goal by Jon Foster with just 2:49 remaining. Foster, who was acquired by Lubbock in a trade from Corpus Christi, paid back his former squad with a goal from the left slot past goaltender Scott Reid. With under five seconds remaining, Paul Fioroni appeared to push a loose puck through traffic on the right side for the game winner and Official Keith Kaval signaled goal after initially waving the goal off, but after a chat with the goal judge, he waved the goal off, forcing overtime.

The ice was tilted in the opening period with the Rayz controlling the period, but the results were not shown on the scoreboard. The Rayz out-shot the Cotton Kings 15-4 and held the Kings from getting their first shot on goal for the opening 9:31 of the games, but the game was scoreless after the period.

Lubbock was able to get some offense going in the second period, out-shooting the Rayz 19-11 in the period, but it was the Rayz coming away with the end result. On the Rayz fifth power play opportunity of the period, Matt Frick fired a shot from the point that deflected off a Kings defender and skipped into the top shelf past goaltender Brett Koscielny for a 1-0 lead.

The goal disallowed was not the only thing the Kings had to overcome, as they had to face 9 power play advantages from the Rayz, who capitalized on one of the man advantages. Lubbock was 0 for 3 on the power play and couldn't muster up a power play goal. Koscielny was solid in net and even had to battle through a third period injury, which appeared to spark the Kings play. He stopped 39 of 40 shots for the victory to improve to 9-10-1. The overtime win is the second consecutive overtime win by the Kings in their two visits to Corpus Christi this season and they closed the season series with a 3-1-0 record against the Rayz.

ROSTER CHANGES

The Cotton Kings and Rayz have not made any roster moves in preparation for tonight's game.

STANDINGS

Kings - 21 points, tied-1st place, Southwest Division.

Rayz - 24 points, tied-2nd place, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS

Kings - Points: 22 Simon Watson, Goals: 13 Simon Watson, Assists: 12 Kyle Nosan, Penalty Minutes: 75 Paul McBrien.

Rayz - Points: 29 Justin Quenneville, Goals: 13 Justin Quenneville, Assists: 18 Jason Baird, Penalty Minutes: 64 Justin Quenneville.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kings - Power play: 15.2% 12th, Penalty killing: 88.2% 3rd.

Rayz - Power play: 13.9% 14th, Penalty killing: 82.9% 11th.

GOALTENDERS

Kings - J.F. Perras (4-4-0, 0 SO, 2.76), Kyle Stanton (6-5-1, 1 SO, 3.23).

Rayz - Ron Vogel (8-6-3, 0 SO, 3.09), Brent Zelenewich (2-4-1, 1 SO, 2.53).
 

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SteelHounds and Toys for Tots Team Up for Autograph Session at Greenwood Chevrolet/Hu

YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO - The Youngstown SteelHounds will be at Greenwood Chevrolet/Hummer in Austintown on Monday night (December 18th) from 5:00-7:00 PM signing autographs and meeting fans. On hand will be many of the Hounds players and team mascot Crusher. Greenwood Chevrolet/Hummer is located at 4695 Mahoning Avenue in Austintown.

The event is in conjunction with the Greenwood Chevrolet/Hummer's Toys for Tots toy drive. Any person bringing an unwrapped toy to the autograph session on Monday night will receive a voucher good for a discounted ticket to the SteelHounds game on Friday, December 22nd versus Austin.

For more information contact the SteelHounds Media Relations department at (330) 747-PUCK (7825) or visit the team's online home at Youngstown SteelHounds Hockey, Central Hockey League, Youngstown, Ohio.

--steelhounds.com--

***Fans, also be sure to visit Youngstown SteelHounds Hockey, Central Hockey League, Youngstown, Ohio and sign up for your own page on mysteelhounds.com through ONE Site. The new feature is an online community where fans can interact with players, front office staff members and other fans from around the CHL.

***Don't forget that each and every Monday night is Hounds Happy Hour on ESPN Radio, 1240-The Fan. Join host Tim Sampsell as he wraps up the teams action from the previous week, takes a look ahead to the coming week and interviews some of the top names from the Hounds and around the CHL.
 

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Koozies, Foam Fingers, and Bears...Oh My

Broomfield, Colo. - The Rocky Mountain Rage will battle the in-state rival Colorado Eagles tomorrow and Saturday at Broomfield Event Center at 7:05 p.m. each evening. The two games mark the seventh and eighth head-to-head meetings of the Rocky Mountain Rivalry season series between the Northwest Division rivals.

Friday, Dec. 15, 7:05 p.m.

First 2,500 fans will receive a Rage Hockey Jersey Koozie courtesy of Total Beverage

Total Beverage Lounge inside Broomfield Event Center will offer $2 draft beers following every Rage goal

Saturday, Dec. 16, 7:05 p.m.

First 2,500 fans will receive a Rage Foam Finger courtesy of Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center, Stryker Physiotherapy Associates, and Front Range Orthopedic Center.

First annual Teddy Bear Toss - Fans are asked to bring brand new stuffed animals to the game and throw them onto the ice during the first intermission. The stuffed animals will be donated to local police and fire department outreach programs.

The Rage will be wearing specialty holiday jerseys, which will be auctioned off following the game to benefit the Broomfield Sports and Entertainment Foundation.

Single-game tickets for all Rage home games are on sale with prices ranging from $15-$40 per seat. Tickets may be purchased online at broomfieldeventcenter.com: Home, by calling 303-410-TIXS, or at the Broomfield Event Center box office (11450 Broomfield Ln., Broomfield, 80021). Season tickets, mini-packs, and group plans are also available for the 2006-07 season by calling 303-439-RAGE. For more information, visit Rocky Mountain Rage.
 

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Rayz fall to Ice Bats, 3-2

The Corpus Christi Rayz and Austin Ice Bats exploded for five goals in the first 13 minutes of the game Thursday night, but when the dust from the early fireworks settled, neither team found the back of the net again. Austin claimed three of the first period tallies and it proved to be enough for a 3-2 win over Corpus Christi. The loss for the Rayz snapped a three-game point streak and the win for Austin was their sixth in the last eight games. Corpus Christi will continue their week Friday night when they host the Lubbock Cotton Kings on Harley Davidson Men's Night, presented by Time Warner Cable and Classic Rock 104.5FM. Tickets are currently available. For more information, please call the Rayz at (361) 814-PUCK.

The Rayz and Ice Bats played a wild first period featuring five goals between the two clubs. Austin scored first at 3:13 when J.F. Picard beat Brent Zelenewich from the blue line for his fourth goal of the season. The Rayz gave up the first goal of the game for the first time in five games. Corpus Christi didn't take long to answer. Adam Powell scored the first home goal of his career just 28 seconds later to tie the game at one. Austin took a 2-1 advantage when Ray Smegal centered a pass from the corner that deflected off Rayz defenseman Chris Mei and behind Zelenewich at 6:21. The Rayz once again answered quickly, this time taking only 11 seconds. At 6:32 Derrick McIver beat Kevin Couture with a low slapshot from the right circle to tie the score again. Austin pulled ahead for a third time when Henry Kuster deflected a shot from the point to give the bats a 3-2 lead. The goal was the final of the frame. The Rayz outshot the Bats 13-10 but trailed by a goal heading into the second period.

After a offensive explosion in the early stages of the game, the teams were silenced the rest of the way. Neither team scored again, as the Bats outshot the Rayz 12-4 in the second period and the Rayz outshot the Ice Bats 13-6 in the third.

The Rayz suffered their first regulation loss in the last four games, and just their second defeat of the year against Austin. Corpus Christi fell to an even 10-10-4 on the year, while Austin improved a game over .500 to 9-8-4. Zelenewich made 25 saves and took the loss, dropping to 2-4-1. Couture earned the win making 28 saves on 30 shots, and bumping his season mark to 4-4. The Rayz loss was just their second in six games this year against Austin, with both losses coming at the American Bank Center. For the second straight game, both clubs were held scoreless on the power play. The Rayz went 0-3. Austin went 0-5. The Rayz outhsot the Bats 30-28.
 
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